There are harmful marine creatures in Top End waters so make sure to take care at all times.


In Darwin it is best to swim at Mindil Beach, Nightcliff Beach or Casuarina Beach when lifeguards and lifesavers are on duty. There hasn't been a fatal crocodile attack at these beaches for over 120 years.

If you are not swimming at a patrolled beach we recommend you follow the advice of the NT Government's Parks & Wildlife Service.

In Nhulunbuy you should swim at Town Beach when lifesavers are on duty or at Shady Beach or Little Bondi Beach where lifesavers operate patrols.

Dangerous Tropical Jellyfish

One species of tropical jellyfish is particularly dangerous - the Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri).

Look at the Box Jellyfish Poster (above) to learn to tell the difference between Chironex Fleckeri (Box Jellyfish) and Chiropsalmus, a species more commonly found on the Gove Peninsula beaches. It breeds and swarms in shallow water during the wet season so don't swim in the ocean at this time without wearing full protective clothing. Just don't!

This animal grows to a large size, often around 300 mm or more across the main body with tentacles that extend for several metres.  Its sting is extremely painful. Another dangerous jellyfish is very small - the Irukandji - but its sting may go unnoticed.  Symptoms occur in 5 - 30 minutes after being stung and include hypertension, racing pulse, lower back pain and a feeling of great anxiety.

In areas where dangerous tropical jellyfish are prevalent, and if the species causing the sting cannot be clearly identified, it is safer to treat the victim as outlined below.

Treatment for tropical jellyfish stings

  1. Remove the patient from the water and restrain if necessary
  2. Call for help (get a surf lifesaver or lifeguard to help you and call 000)
  3. Assess the patient and commence CPR as necessary
  4. Liberally douse the stung area with vinegar to neutralise invisible stinging cells - do not wash with fresh water
  5. If vinegar is unavailable, pick off any remnants of the tentacles (this is not harmful to the rescuer) and rinse sting well with seawater (not freshwater)
  6. Seek medical assistance with rapid transport to hospital

Ice may be applied for local pain relief for less severe stings.

For more information download the Stay Stinger Safe Brochure.